Westfield Matildas Newcastle-bound on road to Tokyo
Friday 14 February 2020 8:11am
Football Federation Australia (FFA) confirmed that Australia will play Vietnam in Newcastle in the home leg of their Tokyo 2020 Women’s Olympic Football Tournament Play-Off in March.
After a tense, goalless first half, it was an 86th Minute strike by Tang Jiali that gave China PR a 1-0 lead going into the dying moments of the match. Emily van Egmond scored the all-important equaliser for Australia deep into added time when she hit the top left corner of the goal from the edge of the box. The 1-1 draw was enough to give Australia top spot in Group B on goal difference.
With the Matildas now just two games away from sealing a place in the women’s football competition at Tokyo 2020, FFA confirmed that McDonald Jones Stadium – the very venue that played host to impressive Matildas crowds of 16,829 and 12,649 in 2017 and 2018 respectively and was also a host venue for the AFC Asian Cup Australia 2015 – will be the scene of the important fixture on Friday, 6 March 2020.
Kick-off in the contest will be at 8.00pm (AEDT), with tickets on sale to Australia’s Football Family at 11.00am AEDT tomorrow, Friday, 14 February 2020, via www.matildas.com.au. Tickets to the general public will go on sale at 11.00am on Monday, 17 February 2020.
“The Matildas have performed fantastically throughout their first phase of Olympic qualifying,” FFA Chief Executive Officer James Johnson said. “It is great that they have been able to play on home soil with the support of our fans throughout the group stage, and as we move into the play-off phase against Vietnam home ground advantage in the first leg will be equally important.”
“On behalf of FFA I am delighted to confirm that we have partnered with the City of Newcastle to play our crucial home qualifier for Tokyo 2020 in the Hunter next month. McDonald Jones Stadium has played host to two Matildas wins in front of strong crowds over the past few years, and we believe that a bumper attendance will be on hand to help our team take another step towards Tokyo early next month.”
“FFA acknowledges the City of Newcastle and Venues NSW for throwing their backing behind this fixture which we believe will be a memorable occasion for the city and its people.”
City of Newcastle Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes said the citizens of Newcastle would be ready to welcome the Matildas back to the region.
“We are thrilled that the Matildas have advanced to the next stage of Olympic qualification and will come back to Newcastle to take on South Korea,” Councillor Nelmes said.
“McDonald Jones Stadium has played host to two Matildas friendlies over the past few years, with great crowds filling the stands to make the ground a fortress for the national women’s team.
“I wouldn’t be surprised if, after Novocastrian Emily van Egmond scored that wonderful equaliser tonight, that we reclaim the record by exceeding the 20,000 set at the newly opened Bankwest last year,” she concluded.
Match Schedule – Women’s Olympic Football Tournament Play-Off
Australia v Vietnam
Date: Friday, 6 March 2020
Kick-off: 8.00pm AEDT
Venue: McDonald Jones Stadium, Newcastle, New South Wales
Broadcast: Live on FOX SPORTS, Kayo Sports, ABC TV (iview & eastern states, delayed in other states & territories), and the My Football Live App